Archive for November, 2012

The Society of School Librarians International Best Books

November 27, 2012

I got the news that my young adult mystery SUSPECT was on the top of the Society of School Librarians International best books for language arts (grades 7-12) last fall, but the official link never popped up for me until last week. Now I’m honored to share it, especially since I’m in such good company.


Thinking About Soccer?

November 24, 2012

Some kids aren’t really sure whether or not they’d like to play a sport. If you know someone who’s thinking about trying soccer, strongly consider handing that person a copy of Ruth McNally Barshaw’s Ellie McDoodle: Most Valuable Player This is the fourth book in Barshaw’s Ellie McDoodle series, a delightful collection of books for kids in third to sixth grade. Kirkus described the first book as “Part journal, part graphic novel, all fun.”   

While I’m recommending this book for kids who’re not sure if they’ll like soccer, the action will also satisfy kids who love the game.

Meeting with Students in Jefferson City

November 9, 2012

I”m looking forward to doing a day of writing workshops with students in Jefferson City, Missouri this Saturday.  We’ll be looking at using specific detail and figurative language in the morning and examining the relationship between conflict and character in the afternoon.

34343 Words

November 4, 2012

While I’m not participating in the NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, I am tapping into some of its energy.  Instead of polishing words and phrases, I’m only taking them to a certain level before moving on.  I have dreams of wrapping up a draft for my high school and college-age beta testers by Christmas.  It’s been so helpful to have pictures from our trip to Italy.  I’d been able to work off of old photos from when we used to live there as well as images from the net, but some of the shots I needed were rather specialized: gates, train tracks and bus stops. 

Gaps provide opportunities

It is forbidden to cross the train tracks.

Just Kill Him

November 1, 2012

Sometimes writers stop in the middle of conversations once they realize what they must sound like to the outside world.  Often this happens when discussing the motivations of various winged or furry creatures.  Yesterday, the woman behind the counter of the coffee shop must have wondered for a second or two whether the Missouri Mob was meeting at her place. I don’t want to give away anyone’s plot point, so here is an inexact reproduction of the conversation that will at least give you the gist of it:

X: You know that you’re going to have to kill the boy.
Y: Oh, definitely. He’s got to go.
Z: I’m not sure. That seems like such a cliche at this point.  I mean two broken legs, a couple of broken ribs, and a punctured lung. Isn’t that bad enough?
Y: No. You have to be ruthless here.
X: Seriously. It’s the right thing to do.
Z: Well, I suppose I could….
X: Come on. Just kill him.